In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin separated herself from decades of U.S. policy — which has held that Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Territories are illegitimate and an impediment to peace — saying that she thinks “Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expand”:
WALTERS: The Obama administration does not want Israel to build any more settlements on what they consider Palestinian territory. What is your view on this?
PALIN: I disagree with the Obama administration on that. I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.
WALTERS: Even if it’s [in] Palestinian areas?
PALIN: I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expand.
Not only does Palin disagree with the Obama administration on that, she also disagrees with the Bush administration, whose 2002 “roadmap for peace” called for a settlement freeze. In fact, every U.S. administration since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in 1967 has opposed Israel’s building of settlements, which are held to be illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention:
Article 49. The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
In addition to violating Israel’s obligations under international law, the settlements are a major source of anger and frustration for Palestinians, and one of the main drivers of extremism and violence among both Palestinians and Israelis. By further entrenching Israel within the Palestinian territories, the settlements also make a two-state solution — which both Presidents Bush and Obama have recognized as a central U.S. national security interest — far more difficult to achieve.
Palin’s wild views on Jewish settlements might help her steal some radical right-wing religious support from Mike Huckabee, but they have disastrous implications both for U.S. and Israeli security, as well as for Palestinian national and human rights.